5 Minute Recovery: Humility

Categories: General

I went to bed last night thinking about today’s post. I was trying to figure out how to fit humility into 5 minute recovery. I had nothing. I was completely blocked.

Early this morning I woke with this thought and I couldn’t get it off my mind. I was aware of it before I really woke up. It’s like it was there all night. I spent at least an hour absorbed with this idea. I tossed and turned as though I was on a rotisserie and still the thoughts consumed me. And do you know what it was; it was me. I was obsessed with myself, my wants, my desires, my agenda. And then it hit me, like a voice resonating in my mind, “Stop it. Be humble.”

Have you ever been obsessed with your self, your thoughts, your feelings, your problems, your agenda? Of course you have and it started when you were a baby. This obsession continued until someone put you in your place. The breaking of your selfish pride and arrogance may have been a humiliating experience or perhaps it was the awe of something greater that softened your heart. Nevertheless our self obsession keeps trying to make a comeback.

Addiction & Self Serving Agenda

Self obsession is an all consuming pastime in active addiction. It never ends. With addicts it’s what do I want, how can I get it, and when can I get some more. Addiction puts everyone and everything else beneath us as though it was a commodity for our self serving agenda. But it must end. The self serving agenda must end before we drain the life from all that we have ever touched. Putting an end to this selfishness is recovery. 

Humility Engages Us in Recovery

Humility is a realignment process that we must engage in regularly. It is a collection of thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that shows itself in several ways like, recognizing shortcomings, obedience, and submission. Humility engages us in recovery.

Humility shows itself in recognition of our shortcomings. The humble person confesses the wrongs they have done. And being motivated to fix these wrongs, dedicates time, energy, and effort to make things right. They don’t just say, “sorry.” They do whatever is in their power to make restitution.

Second, humility shows itself in obedience to that which is greater. The humble person is obedient to the greater cause i.e. God and his will, or the needs of family. For this reason the humble person orders his daily activity to serve that which he knows is more deserving than his selfish desires.

Finally, humility shows itself in submission. The humble person surrenders to a superior force or authority. The humble person accepts that their way is full of pain and suffering and that will end in peace if they stop struggling to have everything they want.

5 Minute Recovery: Humility

Let’s boil this pot down to it’s essence. Most of us require a humbling experience to teach us humility. I am talking about something big and scary that puts the fear of death into your belly or the reality of just how small and fragile you are.

For me, there is a list of near death experiences mixed with moments of awe and wonder. Each of these moments initiated recovery through humility. After not dying, I felt appreciation for the people in my life and a need to be and do better by them. After the moments of awe and wonder, I felt a reverence for the vastness of nature and the God who created it. I am thankful for those moments, those experiences, and the voice that tells me to be humble.

For your 5 minute recovery today, make a list of experiences that brought you a taste of humility and savor how each one positioned you for recovery.

Beyond 5 Minutes

For a TED talk on Choosing Humility in a Self-Centered Age

For biblical teaching on humility check out the scripture references in this article at christianity.com

Author: Todd Davis, PhD, MFT, LADC

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